Feed Our Future Program Continues To Provide Free Meals To LBPSB Students In Need
by Darren Becker
This year Lester B. Pearson School Board students in need will once again be able to enjoy free meals thanks to the Feed Our Future program whose aim is to ensure no child goes hungry at lunch.
The program is made possible thanks to the contributions of several West Island restaurants who prepare meals that are subsequently delivered to different LBPSB schools.
The initiative began in 2021 during the COVID pandemic when Feed Our Future organizer Corey Szwarcok decided to help promote local businesses by starting a Facebook group with Danny Azoulay called West Island Restaurants. It was designed to support local restaurants who were hit hard by public health restrictions. These included decisions to limit orders to take-out and closing dining rooms. Through the page, Szwarcok established relationships with several restauranteurs who also wanted to do something meaningful and give back to the community. He subsequently contacted the LBPSB to see if the school board could benefit from the program.
“Two years after the pandemic started and given the current state of the economy a lot of schools and families continue to need support. Many restaurants want to remain involved in the Feed Our Future program as it’s such a rewarding initiative,” said Szwarcok.
This year’s edition of the Feed our Future program started on January 31st when Duke and Devines provided lunches for students at Maple Grove and Del Frisco’s provided lunches for students at Kingsdale. Meals will be delivered to different schools in the coming weeks.
Other restaurants participating in the program this year include:
Rock N Deli (Fairview)
Pizzeria Bros (West Island)
Quesada (DDO in Centennial Plaza)
Rotisserie Gicanu (Marche de L’ouest)
Pizzeria No 900 (Vaudreuil)
Dukes & Devine’s (Beaconsfield)
Kitchen 73 (DDO-Behind Centennial Plaza)
Amy’s Dejeuner (St. John Blvd.)
Baton Rouge (St. John Blvd.)
“It’s very heartwarming to see all of these local businesses contributing to Feed Our Future as unfortunately there are still a lot of hungry kids in our schools,” said LBPSB Food Management Technician Janet Maccullie.
“People tend to think the West Island is a fairly affluent area but for a lot of different reasons, families are finding it hard to make ends meet so we have kids in many of our schools that need a little help.”
Szwarcok said he would like to expand the program to include more restaurants and schools in the future.
“Ultimately we are limited in terms of the help we can provide as the demand is so high, but this has been such a positive community-based initiative and we would like to see it continue to grow so we can help improve the quality of life of as many kids as possible.”